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Article 15 Of The Indian Constitution: An Insight

Fundamental rights are considered to be on the level of God thus no one cannot amend them. Article 15 of the constitution do prohibits the discrimination only on the grounds of caste, sex, religion, place of birth and race. The use of the word only means discrimination on the other grounds is not valid. The article of the constitution is guarded under the part III of the Indian constitution moreover article 15 specifically comes under the heading of Right to Equality.

Introduction to article 15(1)

Article 15 (1) says that state shall not discriminate it's citizens on the grounds of caste, sex, race, religion, place of birth and race.

Case Law:

Nainsukhdas v. State of Uttar Pradesh , air 1953[1]

In the above mentioned case the state election commission sets up different electoral boards for different religions, which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme court of India
*Under this clause the state shall not do any kind of discrimination to it's citizens.

Introduction to article 15(2)

Article 15(2) says that non of the citizens or the state shall not do discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, sex, place of birth and race with regard to the same access to public parks, restaurants, shops, hotels should be there moreover access to public toilets, wells, water tanks, etc should also be there.

Introduction to article 15 (3)

Article 15 (3) says that in some areas the women and children do need special privileges and therefore the state for their welfare can make laws, moreover this doesn't means that discrimination is being done but some special privileges are being given to them as they require them.

Introduction to article 15(4)

Article 15(4) was added to the Indian constitution after the 1st amendment of the constitution in 1951.

Case law- Champakam Dorai Ranjan v. State of Madras, air 1951[2]

In the above case the state reserved some seats for the backward classes of the society but Supreme court declares it unconstitutional but the state says that according to article 46 of the Indian constitution the state can reserve seats for the weaker section of the society but still the Supreme court declares it unconstitutional by saying that Directive Principles of the State policy cannot over-ride the fundamental rights but still the 1st amendment of the constitution was done.

1st amendment of the Indian constitution

The amendment says that any reservation could be done by the state for the educationally and socially backward sections of the society and hence it would not be considered as the violation of the article 15 of the constitution.

Here the question arose that how to check that who are backward classes and who are of general catogery, therefore to solve this issue, Article 340 of the constitution came into the picture which gives the power to make a commission who will decide that who are backward classes of the society and who lies under the general catagery moreover this report made by the commission shall be challenged in the court of law.

Case Law:

M.R Balaji v. State of Mysore, air 1962[3]

Here in the above mentioned case the reservation done went upto 68% which was further declared to be unconstitutional but after that the Mandal commission case[4] came into the picture which declared that the reservation upto 50% is valid and above that is not valid i.e will be declared as unconstitutional.

Introduction to article 15(5)

This above clause i.e clause 5 of the article 15 came after the 934 rd constitutional amendment of 2005.
This article says that nothing in this clause shall prevent the state from making any special provision regarding the admissions of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes into private institutions moreover in the case of T.M Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka , air, 2003[5] it was held that, it is the discretionary power of the state that they can or cannot impose the restrictions regarding the admission of the backward classes.

Written By: Anirudh Gupta

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